Within the last few weeks, it’s been impossible to ignore that race is still a major issue in the U.S. today. No matter a person’s political affiliation, we can all agree that we need to end racism for good. Many corporations have made announcements and ads that say the same. One email in particular caught my attention. Target sent out a letter that not only said we need action but laid out a list of very specific steps they will take. It made me wonder, what specific steps can I take within my own family to ensure my kids will continue the fight? Here’s my plan:
- Extend the Conversation
Instead of giving a big “racism” talk, I will start an ongoing conversation about the value of people and the struggle African Americans face in our country. I want to use the time to teach my children how to look past headlines or snarky comments and find the ‘why’ beyond what’s happening. I have a tool I use in conversations that helps my kids gain perspective.
- Add Some Color
I will make sure that the entertainment we take in will include the perspective of people other than our own group, specifically taking care to include movies, TV shows, books, podcasts, etc of people of color. It is important to include the voices of people of color, not only for the unique vision they offer, but also to understand their experiences more thoroughly. Additionally, this contributes to opportunities for people of color in all of those areas.
- Get Involved
We will actively search for ways to do good in our community. It might be joining an activist group or attending some sort of meetings. We might earn money to donate to causes that further racial equality. We could serve in soup kitchens or build with Habitat for Humanity. I might donate blood. Anything that will better the lives of the people around us and in our greater communities.
- Mix It Up
So many problems arise from groups of people not really understanding the perspective of another. We will pursue friendships with all types of families in order to get out of our little life bubble. We need to know and love people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, socio-economic status, and experiences so that we can have open and honest conversations about what life is like. Knowing families in this more personal way helps give kids a broader perspective in addition to awesome friends.
- Put Our Money Where Our Mouths Are
It’s already customary for our family to try to find small local shops to buy from rather than the bigger stores and online sites. This means we can get what we need, limit carbon impact, and, most importantly, support those in our area that are trying to build a business. I will make an effort to research and specifically patron shops, restaurants, and services provided by people of color to invest in their success.
Progress is slow and can be frustrating. My strongest desire is that I can guide my kids into citizens that build on that progress and become agents of real change in the world. Steps like this will hopefully bring us closer to that goal.